Home Formula 3Macau Grand Prix Ilott passes Eriksson for Macau Grand Prix F3 qualification race win

Ilott passes Eriksson for Macau Grand Prix F3 qualification race win

by Peter Allen

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

Callum Ilott made a stunning pass on Joel Eriksson to take an ultimately commanding win in the Macau Grand Prix qualification race for the Formula 3 World Cup.

Starting third on the grid, new Ferrari Driver Academy recruit Ilott moved up to second off the start behind pole-sitter Eriksson after Lando Norris got a slow getaway.

Eriksson led by around a second through the first three laps of the 10-lap race before being caught by Ilott, who came close to rear-ending the Swede at the Melco hairpin on lap five.

He remained on Eriksson’s tail onto the following lap, and chose to hold back until after the Mandarin right-hander before attempting a move.

That allowed Eriksson to cover the inside line and retain the lead when they went side-by-side under braking for Lisboa.

A lap later, Ilott changed his tactic and bravely dived to the inside of Eriksson just before Mandarin.

That enabled him to grab the inside line this time to make the lead his, and he opened up a gap of just under eight seconds in the remaining two-and-a-half laps.

Once passed by Ilott, Eriksson immediately came under pressure from Motopark team-mate Sergio Sette Camara.

The Formula 2 race winner started ninth after crashing at Fisherman’s in both qualifying sessions, but climbed to fifth by Lisboa on the opening lap and passed Ferdinand Habsburg a lap later.

While Eriksson was busy defending from Ilott at the start of lap six, Sette Camara took third away from Maximilian Gunther.

The Brazilian then twice challenged Eriksson into Lisboa on consecutive laps, but ultimately had to settle for third.

Habsburg struggled for speed early on, with Dan Ticktum coming past him on lap three before Mick Schumacher looked set to continue his impressive debut by getting alongside under breaking at Lisboa on lap four.

The Prema driver locked his brakes heavily however and was left with no option but to use the escape road.

That promoted the recovering Norris, who had dropped to ninth on the first lap.

Norris soon went on to pass Carlin team-mate Habsburg and then Ticktum, who set the fastest lap of the race on lap three but like Motopark colleague Eriksson lost pace afterwards and ended up eighth.

Norris was only one place in front after losing out to Habsburg and Pedro Piquet (who started 13th) in the final two laps, giving the European champion and mountain to climb if he is to contend for grand prix victory on Sunday.

B-Max drivers Yuhi Sekiguchi and Kenta Yamashita finished ninth and 11th respectively, separated by Prema’s Guan Yu Zhou, with Sacha Fenestraz the first Macau debutant home in 12th.

All 21 starters finished on the lead lap in a remarkably clean race.

Double Japanese Formula 4 champion Ritomo Miyata spun at Lisboa early on but rejoined and finished half a second in front of Schumacher.

Devlin DeFrancesco was also delayed by an unseen incident, trailing home a further 14 seconds behind.

Race results

Pos Name Team Gap
1 Callum Ilott Prema 10 laps
2 Joel Eriksson Motopark +7.957
3 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark +8.643
4 Maximilian Gunther Prema +9.798
5 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin +10.391
6 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort +10.821
7 Lando Norris Carlin +11.966
8 Daniel Ticktum Motopark +12.657
9 Yuhi Sekiguchi B-Max +13.418
10 Guan Yu Zhou Prema +14.715
11 Kenta Yamashita B-Max +15.505
12 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin +17.608
13 Ralf Aron Van Amersfoort +19.371
14 Marino Sato Motopark +25.456
15 Sho Tsuboi TOM?S +26.614
16 Jehan Daruvala Carlin +30.412
17 Tadasuke Makino Motopark +32.173
18 Alex Palou Drago +32.606
19 Ritomo Miyata TOM?S +37.061
20 Mick Schumacher Prema +37.634
21 Devlin DeFrancesco Carlin +51.177